Google is studiously promoting President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, which is set to take place Tuesday evening.
Why is that notable? Well, Trump accused Google of doing precisely the opposite in a series of attacks on the search giant last year.
Trump poured gas on unfounded claims that Google harbored a liberal bias in August, when he tweeted a video with the hashtag “#StopTheBias.”
The footage claimed to show that Google had promoted President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speeches but ignored Trump’s addresses to Congress for the past two years.
The claim was widely debunked at the time— both in a statement from Google and on internet archives showing that the search engine did indeed promote live coverage of Trump’s State of the Union address last year.
Fast forward nearly six months, and Google is giving the president airtime again.
Under the search bar on its US homepage, Google links to a live YouTube stream of the address, with the words “Watch President Trump’s State of the Union address. Tonight on YouTube at 9p ET.”
Perhaps the only slight irony is the State of the Union plug appears under a doodle celebrating the Lunar New Year, a major Chinese holiday. Trump of course is engaged in an ongoing trade war with China.
Google in particular has been a lightning rod for Republican anger over Silicon Valley’s perceived liberal bias.
Trump has repeatedly targeted the company, saying search results are “RIGGED” against him, as have Republicans including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai was questioned about the issue during a congressional hearing in December. “I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way,” Pichai told lawmakers. “To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests.”